The Debt Ceiling Explained

Confused about the debate about the Debt Ceiling and the Deficit here's a simplified explanation brought to you by the University of Texas at Austin's McComb's School of Business.   

My intention was to simply place this over-simplified explanation for readers who wanted to understand the basics - but I started to browse the comments and so here's a link to the reference "article" itself as the comments section has a number of other references and links, because try as one might it seems impossible for folks not to get political and animated about an issue that fuels so much passion, and obviously it gives additional perspective.  
"No matter who you are, making informed decisions about what you do with your money, will help build a more stable financial future for you and your family." Alan Greenspan